So, a few months ago, I started Wellbutrin and then never said another word about it here. So let’s wrap that up.

I started taking it after ten years of trying avoid psychotropics with sex, alcohol, love, exercise, marriage, religion, therapy, self help books, puppies and hobbies. In my twenties I had lots of great sex, drank Carlo Rossi better than anyone ever, had more stable loving LTRs than most people, excercised at gyms, and got married twice. I thought that what I was doing was fine, but that I just had to figure out how to do it better.

The end of that first marriage-type situation was a little devastating, though.  Out of desperation, or was it humility, I turned to spirituality and self-help books. And puppies. I started going to Quaker Meeting and Buddhist sangha, got my new fiancee a dog for our engagement and bought books about relationships and then grief, when my dad died. I went to two therapists — one for the relationship, one for the dad — and judged them harshly. I also started collecting magnets. Red ones. With the names of cities on them.

These were all great, big self-conscious steps for an independent, know-it-all Atheist raised by a Jewish woman. But, none of it worked the way I needed it to. And I refused to take drugs. I grew up with a father who, once he was in recovery, would give my mom shit if she had wine with dinner or if I took a pain reliever for headaches. Cold medicine was verboten. He even bullied my dentist out of giving me narcotics when I had my wisdom teeth taken out, but that’s another entry. Point is, I came to pride myself on my ability to tolerate pain. All kinds.

I caved after we moved South. Wifebian found a very nice GP who prescribes psychotropics without a referral to a mental health professional and, at my Wife’s insistence, I got a prescription. It’s not actually cool to be a mental health professional, like how I’m a mental health professional, and get your drugs from a general practitioner. It’s kind of like owning a charcuterie and sneaking off to the Safeway for your Oscar Meyer wieners. I’m supposed to get my meds from a psychiatrist and go to a therapist for therapy.

But I’m not gonna.

The good doctor, who we will call Glinda, said that Wellbutrin probably wouldnt work because it doesnt work for most people, but I insisted because it’s the safest anti-depressant for babies, in my barely-informed eyes. The first two days were ecstatic. Seriously. It was weird. I dont know why, but I was so happy I was giggling with some frequency. I had some ringing in the ears. Not too much and usually only if I drank coffee. Then I noticed that I didnt cry while listening to NPR. And I stopped crying in staff meetings, which was a big bonus. And then I noticed . . . nothing. That was it. Energy, mood, concentration, hopelessness, sex drive — all the same. So I stopped taking it about 2 weeks ago with no noticeable consequences.

So that’s where I’m at in the struggle against my genes and my job. I’ve stopped going to Meeting because I started working weekends, I’m still married and I still love my wife.  I’m still collecting magnets. I’m thinking about being a therapist instead of going to one. I drink more often than I have sex and I havent exercised, not one lick, since July of last year. And of course there is the slow and steady drip of water against rock that is the practice of social work. Oh, the dog threw up on the bed this morning.

I did read some book on the NYT bestseller list about making a project to be happier. I might tinker with that this weekend.

And maybe after I’m done with that, I’ll try a new drug.


100 Bullets

March 27, 2010

  • I might go to Charleston tomorrow
  • I don’t like light beer, but I’m drinking it
  • I’m not pregnant
  • I’m really excited to find a job in Baltimore that is funded by the NHSC
  • Sometimes I wish I hadnt given this url to my friends; the only people I know how to be vulnerable around are strangers
  • I sailed through this two week wait like nothing; Wifebian took the hit this time, be it briefly and within normal limits
  • I feel like I am wildly out of touch with everything and everyone that is important to me
  • I had this really daunting encounter with some ethical shit this week at work and didnt live up to the version of myself I have in my head
  • In the past year, I have developed the most disheartening array of aches and pains in my knuckles, knees and hips
  • I miss going to Quaker Meeting
  • I don’t know if I am cut out for this whole wanting-something-I-don’t-have deal
  • I spent my tax return on Wifebian’s sister’s baby shower, my credit card, car insurance, a haircut (next Friday) and a side view mirror. And a shirt from Target
  • The management company is coming next Friday to fix the drain in the tub
  • Wifebian’s sister tagged me in a photo of her 4D sonograms
  • I wanted to untag myself from it, because at the end of the day, the thing is just creepy
  • Then I realized she only tagged her husband, mom, dad, sisters and dead brother in the photo, so I couldnt bail gracefully
  • The Wellbutrin is officially not working
  • I have started taking pictures of old or interesting signs with names or initials on them, as well as tractor trailers and utility vans with names or initials on them
  • Of the things I have accomplished since moving into this southern most basement of my soul, I am most proud of this blog
  • Another southernism, this time to describe a person of slight stature: as big as a minute.
  • Last Monday, I cleaned the house and it has stayed clean; I must not be that depressed
  • I still havent returned the sperm tank. Gay sperm man would like me to do that
  • This is bullet 23
  • I think my nose is getting bigger. And that a ridge is developing down the middle of it.
  • I am not attending Wifebian’s sister’s baby shower this weekend. Because it is the fourth of four and I have already attended two
  • If I don’t get pregnant, I wish I could become one of those fabulous childless-by-choice people, but Wifebian would rather die
  • When I was 20, I read Molly Peacock’s Paradise, Piece by Piece
  • My biological mother’s uncle sent me a Facebook message last week saying, “Hi Mrs. Basement, Just wanted to say hello, and that you were on my mind. Sorry I shut down on you but there was a lot going on for me and my head wasn’t into the 99 question thing. I would like to be able to keep in touch with you and thru time, share some things with you. It was all happening a bit too quickly for me, so what I did was shut down on you, and for that I’m sorry, it’s a coping skill I have. So with all that said, I just wanted to say Hi, J. and I and another couple are going away for a well deserved long weekend. won’t be aound until next week…Take care, J
  • I said, “Thanks for that.”
  • The boys who live upstairs just came home, with their girls and their voices
  • I think the reason the two week wait was such a breeze was not so much because I was off the internet, because I wasnt, but because I wasn’t temping, wasnt then entering my temperature onto FF and wasnt then blogging about how I felt about the temperatures
  • Split though my ends may be, my hair still looks great
  • The next ten bullets will be positive and about positive things
  • On Tuesday, my supervisor’s hair looked great
  • If I get pregnant, this apartment will make a fantastic nest
  • I am so proud that my car is tidy
  • Wifebian let me hide her credit card!
  • I just bought a pack of my favorite pens
  • All of my mileage and reimbursements are up-to-date in the system at work and I think I will make productivity this month, too — for the first time!
  • My second boyfriend’s mother just started messaging me through Facebook. This is positive because I love her
  • Today, a coworker sent me a Facebook message saying, “I like your profile pic. They never really have very much personality. Yours does.” And I quite agree with her
  • I am now dishing with my ex-boyfriend’s mother about the fertility problems he is having with his wife. This is positive because it is ridiculous
  • I didnt make it to ten positive things or even fifty bullets
  • But I did have two light beers
  • And it is 1:00AM
  • Congratulations, President Obama

Fishes and Bugs

October 18, 2009

Meeting for Worship was silent today. Not one message.

But, our Meeting has something called afterthoughts, where people are invited to stand and share thoughts that they feel did not rise to the level of a message. One woman spoke about a letter she found while cleaning out a storage space. In it, a friend is telling the woman that she is self centered after making dismissive comments about the Vietnam war, when the friend had just lost a loved one in the war.

The woman also reflected on the storage space she is trying to clean out. She said it has 40 years worth of stuff that she’s saving for she doesnt know what.  She reflected on the ways that the Quaker practice of simplicity might be connected to humility. And how, insisting on collecting things, no matter how small, is the opposite of simplicity, how it might foster pride, arrogance, self-centeredness, even, and whether she has truly taken to heart the criticism her friend gave her almost fifty years ago.

I had an afterthought, but didnt share. My afterthought consisted of a similar image of a pond, but this time it was the idea of the Meeting as the surface of a pond and the messages from Friends as bugs that touch down or a fishes that come up. For me, messages are the little woodland creatures that come along to  ripple the pond. For me, right now, a silent Meeting is like a pond with no fishes or bugs. Something’s missing; I need to those ripples to keep my heart and mind moving.